It’s just selected dates in April, but we’ll take what we can get.
By Uncle Blurt
Now this is good end-of-year news, in a year where the news was uniformly bad: Miracle Legion, buoyed by the ecstatic reception to their scattered reunion shows in 2016, is planning to resume performing in 2017. First up: a couple of shows in early April followed by five more to close out that month. The beloved band will play gigs in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Philadelphia and NYC, as well as marquee shows in L.A. and San Francisco – dates are listed here. You can bet we’ll be catching as many as we can.
Putting the “L” back in both legend and Little Diesel… And the “P” back in both punk and The Pump…
By Fred Mills
Attendees at the recent Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, NC, were treated to quite a show by the legendary Television, and it was made even more special because the opening act was NC’s Sneakers, that Winston-Salem-spawned/Chapel Hill-reared, group of pre-punk era Tarheels who would later turn into random members of the H-Bombs, dB’s, Secret Service, and Let’s Active. Go HERE and HERE to see just a few of our friend’s comments and photos of the Sneakers set.
Now word arrives that Sneakers, along with W-S ’70s-era compatriots Little Diesel, will be appearing at Durham’s Motorco venue on October 20. Rather than proselytize – you can read some of my observations on a number of the musicians elsewhere on the Blurt site – allow me to simply direct you to what Motorco is saying in regards to why you might want to consider picking up tickets and making the road trip. See ya there, kissy boys, and don’t try to tell me that you can’t attend simply because love is like a Cuban crisis….
SNEAKERS: Before The dB’s and Let’s Active, there was Sneakers! Stamey, an icon of indie pop, and friend Mitch Easter began to explore recording techniques in Winston-Salem, NC, during their youth. In 1976, Chris and his band, Sneakers (including drummer Will Rigby, with appearances from Easter), released a single on Stamey’s own Carnivorous Records. The sessions were engineered by Don Dixon, who would eventually produce bands like R.E.M. (with Easter) and The Smithereens. Stamey & Rigby would go on to form The dB’s and Easter would reappear in Let’s Active—but the Sneakers single remains vital in not only independent record history, but music in general. [Above photo by Larry Tucker, from the Hopscotch show]
LITTLE DIESEL: In 1973, when most of teenage Winston-Salem lay intoxicated by the sound of mellow southern rock, one select group of insouciant, incendiary Reynolds scalawags took a sharp left turn, clutching Mott the Hoople and New York Dolls albums and started LITTLE DIESEL, the Twin City’s first punk rock band. Fueled by cases of Mickey’s, LITTLE DIESEL took their audiences hostage and exposed them to anarchic rock heretofore unknown in these parts. Bob Northcott’s stylized and soulful vocals were augmented by a formidable dual guitar fusillade from Tom Eshelman and Peter Holsapple and underpinned by bassist Phil Thomas and powerhouse drummer Will Rigby. The die was cast, and the legend was born. If you saw the band then, likely as not you’ve never forgotten it. And now 43 years later, the original LITTLE DIESEL reunites for another show, opening for NC legends SNEAKERS OCTOBER 20 at MOTORCO in DURHAM NC. The snarling attitude and powerful sound is intact and revitalized, and LITTLE DIESEL rises again. [Above photo from Holsapple’s blog]
Earlier this year the Blurt gang was suitably blown away by Chapel Hill’s Happy Abandon, who played our annual day party at Austin’s Ginger Man pub during SXSW. The orchestrally-inclined indie rock band — Peter Vance, Jake Waits, Alex Thompson, and Justin Ellis— previously released a well-received 2015 EP Heavy Lines (listen to it HERE), and they’re also about to hit the road for an extensive East Coast tour that will also find them dipping into the Midwest and Canada. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to check ‘em out.
If you’re a Guided by Voices fan, there’s a good chance that the 1997-2004 lineup featuring erstwhile Death of Samantha guitarist Doug Gillard is one of your fave periods for the band. Now, word arrives that Gillard has returned to the fold and the band will tour starting next month. The lineup will be Gillard, founder Robert Pollard, Kevin March, Bobby Bare Jr., and Mark Shue. (Gillard has been touring with Nada Surf of late, and apparently plans to keep working with them as well.)
Meanwhile, Gillard and Pollard, along with bassist Shue and drummer Travis Harrison, have put together side project ESP Ohio. You can listen to first single “Royal Cyclopean” below; it will be officially released via Rockathon on Oct. 21. At that point it is presumed that GbV, meanwhile, will have completed September recording sessions for a new album.
Guided by Voices tour dates:
8/13 Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
8/14 Dallas, TX @ Trees
8/16 Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
8/17 Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
8/19 Los Angeles, CA @ The Teragram Ballroom
8/20 Los Angeles, CA @ The Teragram Ballrooom
8/22 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
8/23 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
8/26 Seattle, WA @ Neumos
8/27 Portland, OR @ The Crystal Ballroom / Project Pabst
8/31 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
9/01 Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom
9/03 Chicago, IL @ The Metro – on sale on Friday
9/16 Ottawa, ON CityFolk Festival
9/17 Toronto, ON @ Toronto Urban Roots Festival
10/07 Charlottesville, VA @ The Jefferson Theater – on sale on Friday
10/08 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory Lot / Project Pabst
11/04-06 Bastrop, TX @ Sound On Sound Festival
08/13-09/1 with Broncho supporting except: 08/20 DTCV 08/27 Summer Cannibals 10/07 with Destroyer
They enjoyed an extremely well-received European tour this spring and also notched rave reviews for their 4-CD, 76-song career retrospective box set, Final Wild Songs that Cherry Red issued in January. Now The Long Ryders have announced their first full-fledged U.S. tour dates in 29 years, for November. It’s a relatively brief jaunt, as the members all have their own full-time jobs, but unlike the one-off guerilla shows they’ve had on occasion during the past 5 years or so, it definitely qualifies as a tour.
Fans of the band’s pioneering proto-Americana won’t need any coaxing. The Long Ryders last toured the States way back in 1987 in support of Two Fisted Tales, their final album before disbanding later that year. So here comes the classic line-up that recorded three highly acclaimed studio albums and toured extensively, including the recent dates in Spain, Ireland and England: co-founders Sid Griffin (guitar, vocals), Greg Sowders (drums) and Stephen McCarthy (guitar, vocals), and Tom Stevens (bass, vocals). Reviews were, in a word, rave:
“Another spine-tingling moment in a gig that had so many” –Craig Chaligne, Louder Than War(UK)
“The band have lost nothing in terms of musical ability and passion, and if anything they’re playing better than ever” –Jonathon Kardash, Bristol 24/7 (UK)
“They are able to produce the whole tradition of American roots rock that flows from the wide rivers of Dylan and Roger McGuinn into the fast flowing tributaries of Buffalo Springfield and Gram Parsons in front of our dumbstruck faces without batting an eyelash.” –Fernando Neira, El País (Spain)
Following a 2015 sellout with 50,000 in attendance, the third annual LOUDER THAN LIFE festival returns to Champions Park near downtown Louisville on October 1 and 2. There are 35 bands slated to perform on three stages, including The Cult, Cheap Trick (recently profiled at BLURT), Slayer, Ghost, Disturbed and Korn. The festival will also feature plenty of bourbons and spirits, Gourmet Man Food and craft beer. The festival, produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, aims to celebrate the bourbon culture and culinary heritage of the city. Wimmer commented, “Louisville: The home of bourbon. Great people. Great food. How can those ingredients not make a perfect place to have a festival? This is a place you have to visit if you’re a lover of bourbon, a lover of food…a lover of life. I asked my team how we could top last year’s LOUDER THAN LIFE sellout. The easy answer? Slipknot and Avenged Sevenfold.”
Saturday, October 1: Avenged Sevenfold, Slayer, The Cult, The Pretty Reckless, Pierce The Veil, Cheap Trick, Chevy Metal, Anthrax, Motionless In White, Hellyeah, Sick Puppies, The Amity Affliction, Avatar, Neck Deep, Young Guns, Being As An Ocean, ’68, Twelve Foot Ninja, Dinosaur Pile Up
Sunday, October 2: Slipknot, Disturbed, Korn, Ghost, Alter Bridge, Clutch, Biffy Clyro, Pop Evil, Skillet, Sevendust, Zakk Sabbath, Parkway Drive, Trivium, KYNG, Skindred, Adelitas Way, Crobot, Smashing Satellites, Sabaton
From Canadian band’s archival recordings dating back to the late ‘70s.
By Blurt Staff
They were called the Scenics, and they got their start in Toronto in mid-’76, going on to become an extremely popular band on the Canadian Punk and New Wave scene. Formed by songwriters Ken Badger and Andy Meyers, the band had Horses, Television’s Little Johnny Jewel, and the first few Pere Ubu singles, but the idea of “Punk” was still to come. And they would indeed be compared favorably to Ubu and TV, along with Big Star and the Ramones. The Scenics would split up in 1982, however.
Then they got back together in 2008, and began releasing recordings old and new. Now their early recordings are being released in the USA for the first time as Light in the Attic releases In The Summer: Studio Recordings 1977/78 on June 17. BLURT is extremely proud to premiere a video from the band, a clip of them performing Badger’s “O Boy” in 1978. Check it out:
The live video footage is synced to the studio recording from October 1977. Says Scenics co-founder Meyers about his partner Badger: “If I had to pick one studio recording as quintessentially “Scenic” … I’d pick O Boy. On one hand it’s catchy, simple, rhythmically tight… you can pick up on what’s happening pretty quickly. On the other hand, it’s not exactly like anything you’ve heard before… there is something surprising about it. That mixture of being unexpectedly and idiosyncratically us while still loving understandable, catchy songs… that’s basically what the Scenics are about.”
But wait, there’s more: the Scenics will be doing a couple of mini tours this summer, thru the Toronto/ Cleveland/ Chicago and Detroit area in July, and thru the eastern seaboard and up into Montreal in September. It’s the vintage Scenic line-up of Ken and Andy joined by Mark Perkell on drums. They’ll be playing much of In The Summer this summer, incidentally – and wax fans, it is available on sweet black vinyl, too. As the band puts things, “It’s going to be catchy, compelling, and just a bit surprising.”
Scenics Tour Dates
July 6 Hamilton, On This Ain’t Hollywood
July 7 Toronto, On Rivoli
July 8 Buffalo NY Mohawk Place
July 9 Cleveland OH Beachland Tavern
July 10 Chicago IL Empty Bottle
July 11 Detroit MI UFO Factory
Coming in September- Philadelphia, NYC, Jersey, Boston, Montreal. Find out more about the band – as well as what a punk haiku is – at their official website.
You can definitely call this tour a world tour: Between now and the end of the year, troubadour du jour Sturgill Simpson, will be playing enough markets to ensure that only a handful of people on the entire planet will not have heard of him.
This week he’s in Kentucky and Tennessee, later heading up to the Midwest then to Europe, the UK and Canada. After that it’s back to the States, where he’ll be criss-crossing the country from early September through November. He’s supporting the new, acclaimed, best-selling album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. Talk about an apropos title.
Full details and date are HERE. Below is, well, you know… Oh, and go HERE if you wanna download a positively killer live recording from last year.
Er, yes, but… when a band is onstage, isn’t it already in all three dimensions?
By Barbi Martinez
Get ready to hit the North American autoban starting in September: that’s when Kraftwerk will bring their 3D Tour to the U.S. for nine choice dates. There will also a show in Detroit on May 28 for the Movement Detroit festival. Full dates are listed below.
5-28 Detroit, MI – Movement Detroit
7-25 Verona, Italy – Arena Di Verona
7-29 Sopot, Poland – Opera Lesna
7-31 Stockholm, Sweden – Stockholm Music and Arts
8-04-07 Oslo, Norway – Den Norske Opera (The Catalogue 12345678 performance)
9-03 Bethesda, MD – The Music Center at Strathmore
9-06 Atlanta, GA – Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
9-07 Memphis, TN – Minglewood Hall
9-09 New Orleans, LA – The Orpheum
9-10 Dallas, TX – Bomb Factory
9-12 San Antonio, TX – Tobin Center
9-15 Phoenix, AZ – Orpheum Theater
9-16 San Diego, CA – Balboa Theatre
9-18 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
10-07-14 Bilbao, Spain – Museo Guggenheim (The Catalogue 12345678 performance)
First full length in six years; major tour of “unconventional spaces” also announced.
By Blurt Staff
Solid States is the name, and the Posies are in the game – for the first time in six years, it turns out, as Solid States is the long-overdue followup to the power pop icons’ 2010 album Blood/Candy. It’s due out May 20 on the MyMusicEmpire label.
In a statement, co-founder Ken Stringfellow noted, “So many things have changed, either by choice or by circumstance, in the six years between this album and the one before it. We’ve had two bandmates die, a divorce and remarriage, a transoceanic move … There’s been good things and difficult things, but nothing is in the same place for us. So it makes sense that this record would sound different from its predecessors.”
His bandmate and co-founder Jon Auer agreed, adding, “I think it’s our most adventurous record to date. There was the conscious idea to strive for something different from the Posies of past, to use different colors and flavors. That was the plan, but then life had its way with our concepts and schedules, and threw many profound, out-of-the-park curveballs in our direction. By this point, we’d already painted ourselves into a musical corner, which ultimately left us no other option but to figure our way out, bit by bit, wave form by wave form.”
Also in the mix this time around: drummer Frankie Siragusa, who’s also currently touring with the band, along with ex-Flaming Lips drummer Kliph Scurlock and singer Gizelle Smith, as well as Auer’s wife Tiz Aramini and Stringfellow’s daughter Aden.
There is to be a Solid States Secret Shows tour of the U.S., launching in scenic Van Nuys, Calif. on April 28 and wrapping in Oakland on May 29 (dates below). The actual venues, however, will only be revealed to ticketholders! Meanwhile, let’s traipse back to the past for just a few moments….